Camara Fantamadi, a 27-year-old Malian farm worker, died after picking tomatoes in scorching sun. Regional authorities ban farm work between 12.30pm and 4pm “in conditions of prolonged exposure to the sun”.
According to reports, Fantamadi felt dizzy after finishing his four-hour shift. He began work at midday, at the farm in Tuturano, in Brindisi province. As he cycled home, he collapsed and died. A passing motorise found his body. An investigation into the cause of his death is under way.
Puglia president signs law
Michele Emiliano, the president of Puglia, signed a law on Saturday prohibiting “work in conditions of prolonged exposure to the sun”. The measure will be in place across the region until 31 August.
Two other mayors in Puglia, including the mayor of Brindisi, adopted a similar measure a few days before it became region-wide.
Migrant community affected by the death
Fantamadi lived with his brother and had only recently arrived in Puglia. Drissa Kone, who represents the African community in Brindisi, said he earned €6 an hour picking tomatoes.
“The ban on farm work [during the hottest hours] until 31 August is fine, but it’s not enough,” Kone told the Italian news agency, LaPresse. “The question is: will it be respected? And then: who will control it?”
Speaking to Rai News, Brindisi mayor, Riccardo Rossi said, “Fantamadi’s death has affected our entire community.” “Many workers have died over the years due to the prohibitive conditions in the countryside during the summer season. This is why I consider it correct to safeguard the health of workers on the hottest days.”
An Italian woman died of a heart attack in 2019 while working ona veinyeard in Puglia.